Ms Bec Francis

Ms Bec Francis
 Position Lecturer - Course coordinator
 Org Unit School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering
 Telephone +61 8 8313 1114
 Location Floor/Room 2 31b ,  Engineering North ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Bec is a registered Architect and has practised since 1995. She has worked predominantly in Sydney and also in Darwin (with Troppo Architects). She has worked on many projects varying in scale from domestic to civic. She has also spent four years working with a Feng Shui consultant and architect.

    Bec is passionate about client involvment and education in the process of architecture. She is also committed to the environment.

    As a student Bec lived and worked in Nepal. Here, working for the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture Nepal (INSAN), she documented several buildings and began learning about Permaculture.

    Bec graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1994 with a Bachelor of Architecture, First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (1991).


  • Awards & Achievements

    2011 Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching - Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences, The University of Adelaide.

    Team member on several projects which were awarded commendations at national and state levels:

    • RAIA NT Chapter Tracey Memorial Award (1998)
    • RAIA NT Chapter Burnett Award (1998)
    • National Trust Award (1997)
    • UNESCO Award (2000)
    • MBA Excellence in Housing Award (1996)

    Personally granted Queens Trust Award (1992)

  • Teaching Interests

    Statement of Learning & Teaching Philosophy

    I am an architect and I am a teacher. I don't really know which one of those comes first. These practises inform one another and they share two things; the need to understand and value human experience, and the need to communicate.

    My teaching is about design and the creation of built environments within which are always considering the perspective of human experience. How will people engage or respond to a space or place? What impact does our intervention have upon those who experience it? How are our perceptions of space informed by who we are - our culture, our gender and our physicality? I want students to explore these questions to establish their own position which informs their design. So, remembering that students are individuals with diverse experience is a core to my teaching philosophy.

    Students have come to learn, and my job is to facilitate that learning. I am convinced that students learn by doing - by experiencing. My students must learn to explore and develop creative and innovative proposals for the built environment and then convey this information. Visual expression and the development of graphic communication skills are pivotal for the design student. Yet this is problematic for young designers who have not yet acquired the skills to visually express their design and who lack the design language skills necessary to communicate their concepts verbally . To this end I emphasise physical model making and design through explorative ‘play' where students learn by active engagement with the physical world. This is fundamental to my teaching.

    What we see in the built environment is ‘design product', and I think this is what students focus their effort to achieve. But the goalposts shift from one project to the next. What really concerns my teaching is ‘design process'. Without an awareness of process, approaching design in different contexts is problematic. My goal is to assist students to see and analyse their own design process so that they become better able to synthesise and evaluate their design decisions. This is at the core of design and aligns with Bloom's ‘deep' level learning .

    What I am now discovering is the importance of reflection for students. Reflection supports meta-thinking and through this students learn to identify their own design process. Reflection assists students in the forward transference of their newly acquired knowledge and skills. The significance of this aspect of student learning to my teaching philosophy is growing.


  • Publications

    • Francis, Rebecca and Shannon, Susan J. (2013) Engaging with blended learning to improve students’ learning outcomes European Journal of Engineering Education Published online 13 February 2013. DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2013.766679
    • Shannon, Susan J., Francis, Rebecca L., Chooi, Yee Leng & Ng, Sher Lynn (2013): Approaches to the use of blended learning in teaching tectonics of design to architecture/design and architectural engineering students Architectural Science Review 56 (2) 131-140. Published online 11 December 2012. DOI:10.1080/00038628.2012.744688
    • Francis, R, Shannon, S & Murison, S (2012), Delivery of online digital feedback and assessment for design and engineering (architectural) students. Proceedings 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) - Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice 14-16 November 2012, Griffith University, Gold Coast
    • Shannon, S, & Francis, R, (2012), Can utilising blended learning help achieve academic success for architecture and engineering students? Proceedings 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) - Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice –14-16 November 2012, Griffith University, Gold Coast [Nominated for Conference Best Paper]
    • Shannon, S, Francis, R & Torpey, G (2012), Barriers to adoption of blended learning and online feedback and assessment by sessional staff. Proceedings 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) - Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice 14-16 November 2012, Griffith University, Gold Coast
    • Francis, R & McCarthy, J (2011), Engaging design students through a video-based tutorial system. ergo, 2:2, pp. 45-54

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Entry last updated: Monday, 18 Dec 2017

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